First COVID-19 vaccine is 90 percent effective, says Pfizer

Daniel Fowler
November 19, 2020

The company did not break down exactly how many of those who fell ill received the vaccine.

What does the interim analysis tell us?

An efficacy rate of over 90% was achieved seven days after the second dose was administered to participants who had no evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The interim analysis has taken data from 7 days after the second dose of vaccination.

Pfizer and BioNTech did add that the final vaccine efficacy percentage could change as the study continues, but even an initial efficacy of over 90% is promising.

Ten of them were at the most advanced phase 3 stage, in which a vaccine's effectiveness is tested on a large scale, generally tens of thousands of people across several continents.> US President-elect Joe Biden Monday hailed as a cause for "hope" the news that a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech was 90 per cent effective - but warned of a long battle still ahead.

An external, independent data monitoring committee analysing the trial did not report any serious safety concerns and recommended that the study continue to collect additional safety and efficacy data. The data will be discussed with regulatory authorities worldwide.

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The developers - Pfizer and BioNTech - described it as a "great day for science and humanity".

Early results from the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine trial suggest it could be 90pc effective among those with no prior coronavirus infection. "With today's news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis".

"The first interim analysis of our global Phase III study provides evidence that a vaccine may effectively prevent COVID-19".

The clinical trial will now continue until there have been 164 confirmed Covid-19 cases in vaccinated and placebo groups, in order to collect further data and characterise the vaccine candidate's performance. "I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to make this important achievement possible".

However, this analysis was not performed for 'operational reasons, ' and after discussion with the FDA, was reset for a minimum of 62 cases.

The company says it is on track to submit a request for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the USA after the required safety milestone in the third week of November. While the Pfizer-BioNTech trial has yet to be peer-reviewed by experts, scientists reacted positively - if cautiously to the results.

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